Bonus Episode - "Cosas Chingonas": The Post Mortem

On this episode of Grandstand the Pontificator and Professor are re-joined by the ushers to have a war of perspectives and philosophize over "what is?" and "why?". Calling in from Geneva, Switzerland, Dan-1x-Tex relentlessly bombards the conversation from a place of tribally detached objective reason, while Rafaga De Palmer comes in barefoot, pantless and angry from a WiFi accessible mountain in Big Sur, CA to defend the validity of emotion within the sporting discourse. For almost two hours the gang kicks around opinions regarding the end of this year's World Cup - does the WC even matter after Mexico is no longer in it? Is it just plain foolish to imagine the idea of the Green Team ever winning a WC in our lifetime? Why have we still not seen them play that ever elusive 5th game? The boys are back in town to theorize, ramble, argue and predict as we try to cope and make sense of why our beloved team on the field can't perform as well as their wishful fans in the stands. 

Episode Note: This was recorded before the semi finals of the tournament. 

mexico fans crying.jpeg

Episode 39: The World Cup is Here!!!

We’re back in the Grandstand, and there’s no better time to kick off season 4 than alongside the opening game of the grandest of all spectating spectacles - the Fifa World Cup!!! Considering the history and potential future of nation state divisions, we discuss the relevance of the World Cup in a corporate saturated, neoliberal, globalized time. Beyond being a tournament that determines which group of guys play the best futbol, is the World Cup simply just an experience in nationalist expression? In a time when adherence to a national identity is becoming perceived as antiquated, we talk about the type of “carnival nationalism” that the World Cup provides to give people a sense of place and belonging in our global village.


Bonus Episode: The Outsider


On this special episode of Grandstand Podcast we talk to Roberto José Andrade Franco, a freelance writer and History PhD candidate at Southern Methodist University. Roberto wrote a beautiful piece about the enigmatic and polarizing figure that is Saúl “El Canelo” Álvarez. At the conclusion of this weekend's much anticipated and potentially career defining fight with Gennady Golovikin, questions about Canelo's legacy remain. We go inside and out of the ring with Roberto to explain why Canelo triggers such an ambivalent reception from a culture desperately searching for their next great hope. 

Links to Roberto’s work:

Who Is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez?  

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Lost So Much More Than a Fight

Roberto's Website:

Episode 37: Sore Winners: The Bastard Children of the Spectacle

Grandstand political correspondent; One-Time in Texas Porras and usher extraordinaire Ráfaga- I told you I wasn't lying-Palmer; join us for the glorious finale of this season of grandstanding. The ushers divulge and discuss personal stories, the virtues and damnations of competition, heckling, crying, winning ugly, losing pretty, Tom and Jerry, drinking games and a whole lot more. When you finish listening to this grand episode we guarantee that you will want to go out and win at something.

P.S. A special thanks to the Professor for always having the class to dignify our sophomoric meanderings!

Episode 36: Ehhh...


One of the great distractions from the corruption and human rights abuses supported by FIFA in recent years have been the grandstanders of the Mexican National Soccer Team. On this episode, the Pontificator and Professor discuss the controversial “Puto” chant at Mexican soccer games - both a joyful cry of unity, yet also a cringe inducing reminder of prejudice and marginalization. Is it indeed a homophobic chant and is censorship the best solution? Late in the episode, the one and only Lil Mo joins the conversation to give his candid take on the chant near and dear to his heart. As the Pontificator and Lil Mo prepare to enter a sold out Qualcomm Stadium this weekend to be a part of the Mexican Green Team experience, they provide some pre game analysis, not of the game on the field, but of the anticipated performance of one of the most loyal, passionate and unapologetic grandstanders in the history of the spectating spectacle.  

Episode 35: The Raconteur: Searching for V.H. Morales

As spectators we get to witness the play on the field and form mini narratives that we superimpose on the larger story. But guiding us along the way are all of the interlocutors that are contextualizing every facet of the spectacle. On this episode we are joined by Grandstand's resident political scientist, legal adviser to outer space, and Tweeter extraordinaire - Dan 1x Tex - to discuss one of our favorite players on the sporting periphery - the broadcasters. It's these narrators who help turn players into the heroes and games into the tales that hold us together.

Episode 34: Booze, Boxing and Broncos

Similar to Thanksgiving day in America, the First Saturday of May is a holiday that can be seen as a tale of two sporting cultures: in their genteel slacks, hats and dresses, the Anglos like to gather early in the day to sip on bourbon and bet on the broncos. Elsewhere, the Spanish don't come together until nightfall when they indulge on beer and bet on the boxers. But at Grandstand we’ve learned that we are what the professional booze marketers describe as “Born Bold”. We are both Aqui y Alla, and as dual spectators we run the entire track and 12 rounds of this holiday. Taking part in both festivities, in this episode of Grandstand we recap the Kentucky Derby and Canelo v Chavez Jr events. The First Saturday of May has come and the real sports season has commenced. 

Episode 33: Keep it Clean

Have you ever asked yourself who is the most anomalous devotee of the spectating spectacle? What’s the deal with these seemingly invisible arbitrating personages who giveth humanity and order to our games? Guest Tim Tipton, seasoned veteran of the public school teaching spectacle, joins us for a conversation about the parallels between teachers and referees. What gives for these discreet protagonists of the games we play on and off the field?   

Episode 32: The Bootstrap Baseball Classic

The USA has finally won the World Baseball Classic, but did anyone in America even notice? In other parts of the baseball spectating world the WBC is a big deal and some grandstanders and national team ballplayers have gone out of their way to make sure everyone knows it (much to the chagrin of Ian Kinsler). How will the nose to the grindstone good ol’ boys club survive the theatre of international competition with its drama of subtle sleights, restrained oversimplifications, cultural typecasting, and soft-core infractions of a bantam sized patriotic zeal? This ain’t no longer your daddy’s brand of ball this is the World Baseball Classic a gleaming new frontier for America’s National Pastime.

Episode 31: Bimbo Bread and Basketball

As a young, Bimbo bread eating school boy, the Pontificator spent every recess zealously shooting hoops with his fellow mini scholars; but as he grew older, beard aging longer and grayer, his once young appreciation for America’s homegrown cosmopolitan sport faded away. He now wonders why. The Real BR (formerly from Brooklyn), joins the Grandstand this episode to discuss his love for the sport of slam dunks and alley-oops. We talk granny shots, individualism, ads on jerseys and more - as the Pontificator seeks to recapture the fandom that he let get away.  

Episode 30: Still Healing

Times are changing that’s already been established, and thus now is a perfect time for grandstanders to reexamine their roles in shaping that change as well as asking what goes into forming lasting and well regarded institutions. For this dilatory episode of Grandstand Podcast the Professor and Pontificator talk about what MLS in San Diego supporters can learn from Charger defectors to the Raider Nation brand. A grandstandy discussion about the perils and polemics of putting the cart before the horse, the color and styling of the footman’s kit can come only after knowing the confirmation of the horse.     

Episode 29: The San Diego Heal

They’re gone, but Grandstand is still chattering on, how could we not?  The Professor and Pontificator spin a tight web of conclusions about the Chargers’ departure, conclusions that have very little to do with the politicking, the back stabbing and the extortion narrative. Have a listen to a romance tinted conversation about departures, arrivals, revelations and a healer saint named Saint Didacus. 

Episode 28: It's Only Fantasy

When we look toward the periphery of the sporting spectacle we find a new growing section in the grandstand where fandom goes beyond merely spectating. Evolving from the original Rotisserie League of intellectuals, these spectators are playing their own game within the game - a simulation of sorts to determine who is the best (or luckiest) armchair scout and general manager in sports. For some, this is just another casual way to bond with sporting comrades. For others, it’s an obsessive full time plunge into the matrix of sports statistics.  Jason the JACKKNIFE! Crim helps us sift through all the numbers and nonsense to better understand the world of fantasy sports.   

1st Annual Grandstand Awards

As another year comes to an end, the Pontificator and Professor sit down to recognize some of the stand out people, events and stories that captivated the Grandstand in 2016. Who takes home athlete of the year? Team of the year? Grandstander(s) of the year? While this will be infamously remembered as the year of Trump, has 2016 seen a parallel movement taking place within the sporting spectacle? We discuss this and much more in the first annual Grandstand Awards show!

Music from this episode:

Bing Crosby - Let's Start the New Year Right

Eddie Vedder - All the Way

Juan Gabriel - Amor Eterno

Episode 26: On Vendors - Not Your Average Carnies

Can you run up and down flights of stairs while balancing 20 fountain drinks on a standard issue crate with a nonadjustable strap, chuck ice cream bars with precision to the four corners of the grandstand, belt out “peanuts and crackerjacks” for nine innings in a Pavarottiesque tenor, do fifth grade math on the fly with the mental dexterity of a bookie and remember who owes you money? If so go to your local stadium’s boiler room next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. for the opportunity of a lifetime, the best sales job you never heard of. The story of a stadium vendor on this, a fine edition of Grandstand Podcast.   

Music from this episode:

Gene Pitney - Peanuts Popcorn and Crackerjacks

Elvis Presley - Carny Town

Raphael - Canción del Trabajo

Bebe Fafa y Piqui ft Rick Ross - Vendor Hustlin’

Episode 25: The Cathedral

For this 1 year anniversary edition of Grandstand the Professor and Pontificator discuss the greater mysteries of the relationship between sport and religion specifically as they relate to the Cathedral i.e. spectating venue. How much is our spiritual devotion and fanatical style shaped by the edifice and history of the place that houses the performance? What do mega churches and modern American stadia share in common? All this and much so more on this doctrinal but nondenominational episode of Grandstand Podcast. 

Music from this episode:

The Cathedrals - This Old House

Luciano Pavarotti - Ave Maria

Bonus Episode: 3 Bad Hombres

The quotidienne is political only when it affects our individual sovereignty the rest of the time the political comes and goes and most us pay no matter. For this post-apocalyptic episode of Grandstand Podcast Washington D.C. correspondent One-Time Tex joins us for thought provoking conversation about the connections between the Trump upset, Mexico vs USA rivalry, the banality of statistical obsession and of course, millennials! Grandstand confronts the elephant in the room that the blinded and tired punditry of the squawk box can never seem to admit is there. What were once winks and nods is now an open love fest, the reciprocal flirtation between politics and sport is no longer a just an affair.  

Music from this episode:
Cake - Nugget (Edit) 
Beck - Que' Onda Guero 
Joan Baez - De Colores

Episode 23: Abuelito's Cough Medicine

Welcome to another season of Grandstand Podcast! Going beyond the athletes and die hard fans, Season 3 will focus on the periphery of the sporting spectacle - paying tribute to those often overlooked, yet critical, elements that make our spectating possible. We begin by looking at the controversial social lubricator that so prevalently flows through the consciousness of the spectating spectacle. Whether eliciting the fan’s drive towards love or destruction, there is no denying that booze has been an essential contributor to how the game is experienced. So join us as we kick off this new season by celebrating the ultimate periphery prop and performance enhancer of the grandstand! 

Music from this episode:
Frank Sinatra - The Best is Yet to Come
The Texas Tornados - In Heaven There is No Beer
Lila Downs - Mezcalito

Bonus Episode: The Ushers Return

For this episode the Ushers kindly requested that Grandstand find its proper place in the activity versus sport versus spectacle and non mainstream sport argument. Thus, as the Olympics are underway, we were obliged to bring you a bonus conversation in an attempt to get our bearings straight and find our seats in the spectacle. This episode is anchored by an entire season of pedantic pontification and measured professorial observation on the semantic complications of the distinctions between game and sport.  With the help of usher veteran #Skitch Bourbon, his airhorn, and usher newbie Dan #One-Time-Tex, the only guest to ever appear on back to back episodes of Grandstand, we delve into the “What is a sport?” black hole. Tune and find your seat there’s plenty of room the Ushers are here to help.